‘Conflicting’ parking signs under review after parents ticketed

A council parking officer talks to  a driver parked in Longworth St, North East Valley, in an...
A council parking officer talks to  a driver parked in Longworth St, North East Valley, in an area with conflicting parking signs. Right:  A pair of "conflicting" parking signs in Longworth St, North East Valley.





A pair of "conflicting" parking signs outside a popular Dunedin primary school are under review after parents were unexpectedly ticketed during their usual morning dropoffs.

A parent told the ODT she was "shocked" when she, and many others, received the unpleasant surprise yesterday near the entrance to North East Valley Normal School’s junior school.

She said parents had always assumed a sign prohibiting parking on Longworth St around morning and afternoon drop off times was in place to make it easier for parents dropping off children by stopping others parking there.

The parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was told by a parking officer she was not allowed to park where she usually parked, and was asked to move to one of two five-minute parks at the end of the street.

After relocating her car and walking her child to the school, she returned to find her vehicle in the middle of being ticketed.

Another parent told her tickets were being issued to "everybody on the street" — which was between 10 and 20 cars at the time, she said.

The way it had been done seemed "a bit unfair".

The sign prohibiting parking at certain times is directly beside a P5 sign.

"I guess they’ve got the signs up, but it’s where everybody has always parked so it feels a bit abrupt," the parent said.

If the sign prohibiting parking at drop-off times really meant that, it had "never really been enforced" and it was " kind of a little unclear" why it was happening now.

The only other close parking option was North Rd, which could be busy and was farther away from the junior school.

She had parked in Longworth St twice a day every day for the past year and never had any issues with being ticketed, and had not heard of any other parents having any issues either.

She had heard someone who lived on the street had complained to the council, but it would have made more sense to let the school put a notice out to parents rather than the council "just quite aggressively ticketing people when they’re dropping kids off at school", she said.

North East Valley Normal School principal Rachelle Moors said the school was only made aware of the "conflicting" signs yesterday morning.

They understood there should normally only be P5 signs around the school site.

"For whatever reason they’ve put two signs there and obviously they don’t work together at all, and one of them actually shouldn’t be there."

She was "working through a process" with the council and declined to comment any further.

A council spokesman said parking officers had been in the area after recent complaints about "unsafe" parking outside the school.

"We acknowledge parking signage in Longworth St may be confusing and we’re reviewing this."

A parking officer in Longworth St told the ODT tickets issued on the P5 parks would not be enforceable because of the confusing signs and encouraged anyone who got a ticket to talk to the council about it.